"As long as Adventists believe in the trinity, the doctrine of the resurrection, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the primacy of the apostolic faith/The Bible and accept the doctrines clarified by the historic ecumenical councils, they cannot be described as a cult."
There are five beliefs outlined here by Mr. Gordon which he (or those who formulate these definitions) regards as being essential. They constitute an amazing group of Doctrines by virtue of the extremely flimsy foundation upon which the majority of them are based. There are two points which are vital to the acceptance of the whole group because they lay the foundation upon which faith in the others may rest. These are the two last mentioned. Non-cults must accept "...the primacy of the apostolic faith/the Bible and accept the doctrines clarified by the historic ecumenical councils ..." Here are strange terms indeed! Particularly to an Adventist who has some knowledge of the great apostasy and its developments.
What is the meaning of the term, "the primacy of the apostolic faith/the Bible"? The Bible we can understand, but what is this other phrase which is so casually placed in such close fellowship with the Bible and is even given first place over it?(!!) ...the primacy of the apostolic faith ...The astonishing truth is that this is simply a more deceptive way of referring to the traditions which have been preserved over the centuries by the Roman Catholic Church! Acceptance of this, along with the Bible, is one of the conditions necessary for a Church to be classified as a non-cult! Incredible as this requirement is, the SDA church seems to have qualified!!
Then we have, "doctrines clarified by the historic ecumenical councils." Please note that these "historical ecumenical councils" were all ROMAN CATHOLIC COUNCILS (See article from ‘the Anchor' on page 2). Examples of such councils were, The council of Nicea, The Council of Laodicea, the council of Trent. Concerning such councils, Ellen White had this to say:
"Vast councils were held from time to time, in which the dignitaries of the church were convened from all the world. In nearly every council the Sabbath which God had instituted was pressed down a little lower, while the Sunday was correspondingly exalted." (GC - 53)
"... the adoration of images and relics was gradually introduced into the Christian worship. The decree of a general council (the second council of Nicea) finally established this system of idolatry." (GC - 52)
What knowledgeable portestant would place confidence in councils such as these? Yet apparently, the Churches which have achieved non-cultic status (such as the SDA church) have come to accept that the decisions of these councils are also to be accepted as authoritative in determining Christian doctrine and belief.
Having accepted these two premises then, it is easy to accept the other criteria such as belief in the trinity and (the personhood of) the Holy Spirit. Two doctrines which have their foundation, not in the Bible, but in the "ecumenical councils" and in the resulting traditions of the Roman Catholic Church.
We live in an age of awesome opportunity. God is preparing the one hundred and forty-four thousand. Thrilling thought. However, it is also an age fraught with peril (2 Tim 3:1-5). Men have only a "form of godliness." They turn away their ears from the truth and are turned "unto fables (2 Tim 4:4)". It is a time of abounding iniquity when...
"As the Protestant churches have been seeking the favour of the world, false charity has blinded their eyes. They do not see but that it is right to believe good of all evil; and as the inevitable result, they will finally believe evil of all good. Instead of standing in defence of the faith once delivered to the saints, they are now, as it were, apologizing to Rome for their uncharitable opinion of her, begging pardon for their bigotry."- ( GC - 571)
Now, as never before we need to keep ever before us the fact that, "God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible and the Bible only as the basis of all doctrines and as the standard of all reforms. (GC - 595)